MINNEAPOLIS -- The Metropolitan Airports Commission has
introduced a program that encourages airport and airline employees
at Minneapolis/St. Paul to challenge anyone they see roaming a
secure airport area who is not displaying valid airport
Approximately 9,000 workers are currently authorized to be on
airport ramps, roadways and other restricted airport areas, the
"Spot, Challenge and Notify," or "Operation SCAN," as the
program is called, is set up to reinforce for them that they need
to properly display airport identification and to question the
presence of people without it in restricted areas.
Decoys with no visible airport I.D. will be sent into airport,
airline and other restricted airport areas.
"If the airport employee properly challenges the decoy and
notifies the police that an unauthorized individual is on the
airport, the employee will be given a $20 cash award and be
eligible for $500 cash drawings to be held in May and December,"
Jim Welna, the commission's public safety director, said.
According to the commission, Operation SCAN grew out of a blue-
ribbon consortium formed last summer, made up of representatives of
airlines, airport tenants and others with security responsibilities
at the airport.
The consortium was formed in the wake of security breaches by a
Minneapolis Star-Tribune reporter who gained access without being
challenged to an airline hangar, cargo facilities and a flight
support general aviation hangar.
Some of the other recommendations and steps taken as a result of
the consortium's work included the following, the commission
* A computerized interactive training system has been
recommended to the airlines to provide preparation for "real-life
scenarios" for workers at passenger security checkpoints.
* The commission has begun to upgrade and replace fencing at
certain areas around the airport, including the shuttle bus dropoff
area adjacent to the Lindbergh Terminal.
* The commission is about to begin upgrading signs identifying
restricted areas and reminding employees of their responsibility to
control access points and check I.D.s.
* The commission has purchased a new badge printer to replace
security badges over the next two years with better ones.
* All jetway doors will be refitted with new security and safety
hardware, including restricted-access keys.
* New signage and more authoritative public address
announcements will be introduced this year to remind travelers not
to leave their bags unattended.
* A plan will be developed for enhancing the closed circuit
television system, including the addition of more cameras at
screening check points, parking facilities and passenger dropoff
* Pending Federal Aviation Administration regulations, the
commission is prepared within the next two years to establish two
K-9 explosive-detection teams.
* The commission will study the need to increase staffing at the
police department and at the 911 communications center.